Government to amend Essential Commodities Act

Check the recent amendment in the Essential Commodities Act announced by the Finance Minister in the third tranche of Economic Package of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Amendment of the essential commodities act: The 65 years old act of essential commodities had become obsolete, and the government has reworked it to bring changes that will enable better price realization to the agriculturists. The foodstuff that is included will be cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potatoes from now will be deregulated. This announcement was made during the third tranche of measures that were spelled out after the prime minister announced a stimulus of the Rs.20 lakh crore package. Across the week, the finance minister is declaring the allocation of the funds and measures with how they would work out in the larger plan of making Atmanirbar Bharat.

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Government to amend Essential Commodities Act

The farmers had to derive the benefit from the amendment, which now can attract investments, thus getting the agriculture sector to be as competitive as any other industry. The deregulation will be of not only the production of foodstuffs but even the sale of food products. That will now no longer have a stock limit to be imposed on any of the produce. The restrictions will be imposed only under exceptional circumstances such as

  • National calamities
  • Famine
  • Surge in prices

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There is a benefit for the processors of the foodstuffs or those who are value chain participants based on the installed capacity. It also exports demand as well. It will help introduce the marketing reforms for agriculture that will give the farmers the marketing choices that they couldn’t have because of the regulations imposed by the essential commodities act. The farmer now has a choice to sell their produce at better prices. There has been a flush of funds to improve the  agri-infrastructure through Rs.1 lakh crore investment by the center. It will enable the farm-gate infrastructure to better farmer’s lives.

The need to improve the aggregation points which will give apt growth for 

  • primary agricultural cooperative societies
  • farmer producer organizations
  • agricultural entrepreneurs
  • and others

The impetus will be the driving force that will increase affordability and make it financially viable for the farmers and make the post-harvest management infrastructure better. The farmers can store their produce better inadequate cold chain systems in place for post-harvest management. The gaps can now be closed with the funds. Now that the stock limit has been taken off the farmer’s can breathe a sigh of relief.

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The funds will go a long way strengthening the 

  • infrastructure
  • capacities
  • storage
  • building better logistics
  • governance and administrative reforms

All these reforms will facilitate a better legal framework in a fair, transparent manner which will help farmers that will help engage with

  • processors
  • aggregators
  • large retailers
  • exporters

The reforms are going to be game-changing for the farmers if implemented as announced in the coming months. The funds will resolve most of the problems faced by the farmers, and the amendment has seen a boon to bring the farmers out of the years-long misery and facilitate better reforms to get the agriculture back on track post-COVID-19.

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